Dozens of American muscle cars in a rural village of Provence? I had to grab my best camera.
Being a dumb dumb, I, of crouse, forgot it at home, and had to make do with my slightly ancient smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S9.
But seeing this riot of colours and shapes makes me feel this little shoot wasn’t about about dynamic range or resolution, it was about brash colorful fun, and being as inconspicuous as possible to get really up close and personal with the wonderful monstrosities on display.
This, above, is about the most exotic automotive thing we get on a day-to-day basis, in this neck of the woods. Occasionally, a jackymobile might appear from Ze hood, Provence-style. But the throaty sound of burbling V8s rarely echoes in these climes.
So, the American part of the show really drew the crowds far more than the rest. It made me feel sorry for a couple of poor innocent Ferraris that absolutely noone was taking any notice of 😉
I mean, we don’t get Yam Chips this often around here.
Or General Lee chasing Starsky’s Striped Tomato in the streets 😉 😉 😉 (more to come about General Lee on DS this week …)
Or the eyelash beats of sweet Eleanor.
Or even registration plates with painted backgrounds. Non, non, ce n’est pas EE-apprrroved! Verrry bad, houlalaaaa.
So yeah, the wonderfully absurd, the over the top, the huge and pointless drew unexpected crowds throughout a day when everyone got pounded by the sun in an exceptionally blistering summer.
Every now and then, depending on political swings in both countries, I hear/read American people asking why France doesn’t like the US.
Trust me, even when there is political disagreement between the two at the top of our respective power pyramids, the deep rooted love for Les Yankees is very much alive around here. The ties go way back, and events such as this consolidate them through generations.
If more evidence is required, the bar at the end of this street is called The HonkyTonk and draws weekly hords of bikers on Harley Choppers 😉 Yeah, in sleepy rural Provence.
But back to the cars. I’ve seen 3 DeLoreans in my life. Two of them in my home backwater village, just today. Un.Believable, right? And this owner sure went all the way.
While you might marvel at the madness and craftmanship, I bow to the resilience, commitment and mental strength of the person. When I wanted to carve an innocent window out of the side pannel of a van, it was made quite clear to me that this would require submitting it to a series of administrative procedures that could last 18 months, cost as many Benjamins, and during which the van could be legally undrivable.
So, to make this crazy, sharp-angle, jigsaw-puzzle of a … car? … roadworthy must have required enough mental focus to put a Rimpoche to shame. Kudos, man, and thank you for existing. Tell me your name’s Han Solo, and I’ll believe ya.
Chromatic overload brought another reason for merriment.
In a country (continent?) where some drab shade of gray is the obligaroty livery, design has become more stale than last month’s crisps and automotive enjoyment has become reason enough to be seen as some non woke ecoterrorist, oh man … those reds, greens, blues, yellows, browns … convey so much happiness. I mean, let’s talk serioulsy. Who wants to live in a world of grey when they can have this?????
When did we become sooo boring? This technicolor immersion rejuvinated me like C3PO’s oil baths. I’ve lost 10 years and fully expect my hair to regain much colour some time next week 😉
Anyway, pure joy was had by many people today, thanks to the madness of the designers of those cars, and the unconditionnal ecoterrorist love of those who maintain them in such pristine condition.
Plus, a touch of humour here and there really didn’t hurt 😉
I’m not that big a fan of museums, because they celebrate history, which loses its value if it doesn’t serve to guide the present (and daily life repeatedly shows how much it doesn’t) and long dead people, almost exclusively. Why, oh why, be all extatic only about dudes from 4 centuries ago, when we could, and should be celebrating living artists, curators and collectors, that have far more impact on our culture and lives?
This day, to me, was such a celebration. As much as Jasper Johns, Mark Rothko, Edward Hopper, Ansel Adams, Robert Adams, and many more, do it for me, cars have a more universal pulling power for people of all ages. So, yeah, human beings getting together – in a world that uses every trick to divide – around a common interest/love/passion? A celebration of a spirit of freedom that is today viewed as a cardinal sin? Man, that was fun.
As for the phone, and considering the light, it acquited itself brilliantly. The photos were edited in Google’s photo app, with a healthy dose of vignette to hide the distracting crowds that show up in the corners, in spite of my best efforts at odd angles, and a preset called Clay. That works well for me, bringing a bit of that vintage look, as well as the big depth of field that’s a refreshing change from my recent foray into razor sharp focus planes 😉 I can’t write it enough: big depth of field forces you to think hard about your composition, it’s a great learning tool.
So, fun cars, fun people, fun photography. Who can ask for more on a Sunday ?
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